10 surefire ways to get unfollowed on Twitter [study]

Chris Lake of Econsultancy wanted to find out the most common reason why people unfollow someone on Twitter. So far, more than 765 votes have been cast since on the survey he posted — and the results are interesting to say the least.

Here are the top ten reasons why people hit the unfollow button in ascending order of dislike.

1. Keep posting Foursquare updates

Seriously, no one wants to know that you’ve just appointed yourself the mayor of your restroom on Foursquare. Neither are most people interested in a detailed analysis of how many calories you burnt today. A substantial number of Twitter users find this activity annoying enough to hit the button.

How to fix: Turn off Foursquare and other automated app updates on Twitter

2. Keep begging people for stuff

Sending a tweet requesting people to like your Facebook page once may be okay. Individually sending everyone you follow links to read your blog post or listen to your music on SoundCloud? Not so much. If you keep doing it, you’re leaving the other person no choice but to unfollow you as a hint.

How to fix: Go about your business on the web, don’t be a cling on

3. Tweet only once in a fortnight

Out of sight and out of mind is right. Most people won’t even follow an inactive or sparsely updated account in the first place. This isn’t blogging where you can afford to make one appearance a week. This is continuous stream of thought. You’re either on the wagon or off it.

How to fix: Be consistent, get a mobile client and keep in touch with the network

4. Pick fights and post nude images

Constantly picking up arguments with people, posting links to inappropriate images or media, or being incessantly abusive isn’t something that will win you the favor of most people on Twitter. They may tolerate you for a while, but if you make offending sensibilities a habit, people will make blocking you theirs.

How to fix: Keep it clean, if you can’t, go to 4Chan

5. Keep ranting about the same thing

Sounding like a broken record will have people dropping you faster than a hot pan. It’s good to tweet about sports if you’re really enthusiastic it, but if that’s all you’re going to do 24/7, you’re really going to limit the number of people who might potentially follow you. Similarly, ranting on about how your ex broke your heart all the time probably suggests you need a counselor more than a Twitter account.

How to fix: Inject a little variety in what you tweet

6. Be spammy and automate your tweets

Services like Twitterfeed have made it easier for people to share their interests automatically. Once the feeds are set up, you don’t have to do a lot as your account will be automatically updated. While this may be a good practice to promote your own blog; if you have too many feeds connected, you look like a bot.

How to fix: Stay human, don’t use auto tweeting services

7. Tweet about really mundane things

You may think that your cats are really interesting, but everyone may not agree with you. If you’re consistently bland and boring, chances are high that you’ll never get people interested enough to follow you, and the ones who have will probably soon reconsider why they did.

How to fix: Be funny, share the uncommon and not the everyday

8. Get on a 24/7 self promotion trip

This is good only in moderation. What’s the point of being on a network if you can’t benefit from it in anyway, right? But done too frequently and with too much enthusiasm may leave a bad taste in the mouth of others. Despite what it may seem, no one really likes self-absorbed quack jobs.

How to fix: be interested in others, don’t go on and on about yourself

9. Oversharing and TMI

It’s probably a better idea to vent elsewhere and not on Twitter if you had a bad day. Divulging too much information about your personal life usually comes across as emotionally unstable behavior to people online, that is other than the bigger issue of putting your privacy at risk and making yourself vulnerable.

How to fix: Keep your personal life personal

10. Send a tweet every 10 seconds

Where tweeting too less makes you invisible, tweeting too often makes you visibly annoying. Not only are you clogging everyone’s timeline all the time, you’re probably coming across as a marketing bot. Of course, no one’s going to ask you to get a life, they’ll just unfollow you.

How to fix: Stay relevant, don’t overdo it